Guerrilla Storytime Recap: Massachusetts Library Association Conference 2015

IMG_0028The intrepid Ashley Waring alerted us to the fact that she helped throw a terrific Guerrilla Storytime earlier this week as part of the 2015 Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference. We love it when y’all host Guerrilla Storytimes at your local events, and we’d love to support you to do more of them! You can always email us for more information, or check out our Guerrilla Storytime page on this very site. Make sure to let us know when you’re planning a Guerrilla Storytime!


Without further ado, the glorious peer-learning from Massachusetts!


Hello song: (sung to tune of “farmer in the dell”)
Hello my friends, Hello
Hello my friends, Hello
Hello my friends, hello my friends, hello my friends hello.


Q: What do you do with siblings?
Older siblings – let them have their own baby, let them model for younger kids, notice when they’re being good and congratulate them
Incorporate a peek-a-boo game even with an older group because younger siblings like it


Q: Registration v Drop In?
Sometimes you have to do drop-in because of staffing issues
Sign-ups hard because life is too unpredictable
If you do a craft, sign-up is good so that you know how much to prepare
Put out a basket with name tags, first 15 kids can attend storytime – this also encourages families to show up on time
Do 2 storytimes with small break in between, so if someone gets turned away from first one, they can attend second


Q: How do you accommodate for twins in babytime?
Give alternatives to motion, like peek-a-boo instead of lift up child
Tickling is good because you can tickle a few kids at once


Q: Favorite welcome or closing song?:
Make gallup sound on lap or bounce baby: Horsey horsey gone away, we’ll play together another day, so let your tail go swish and your wheels go round, giddyup we’re homeward bound
“Glad to see you” by Peter and Ellen Allerd
Older kids: Laurie Berkner “These are my glasses”
Toddlers: Laurie Berkner “Blow a kiss”
Goodbye friends song with signs: Goodbye friends, goodbye friends, goodbye friends, it’s time to blow some bubbles (with sign language) Jbrary:


Q: How do you do writing skills in storytime?
Coloring, writing – like filling in a blank “My favorite color is _________”
Brainstorm with group before storytime.  You write what they say so they understand that spoken word equals print, also good to assess their prior knowledge about the topic you’ll be doing
Do a group drawing activity. Everyone adds to a scribble drawing on the board.


Q: What is your favorite way to use scarves?
Wave them around to Raffi’s “shake my sillies out”
“Peek a boo, I see you, hiding behind your scarf. Peek-a-boo!”
We wave our scarves together, because it’s fun to do
One bright scarf, waiting for the wind to blow. Wave it up high, wave it down low. Put it behind your back, where did it go?
Popcorn kernels song from Jbrary
Shaker song but can do with scarves: shake your shakers high, shake your shakers low, shake them to your side, shake them on your head, and then you go to bed


Q: Favorite way to use a parachute?
Innies and outies game: parents wave the chute and kids run under then out
Sing: “1 little two little 3 little bubbles, pop those pop those pop those bubbles…” kids sit on it and parents sit around and shake it and make the air bubbles – great for parent involvement
Have kids try to move the item to a particular color on the ‘chute
Rolled up socks as balls was a hit for something to shake
Running under can be a challenge because of kids getting crazy, crashing into each other
At PJ storytime – put paper stars on ‘chute and they fly around, then kids can gather them up
At teddy bear picnic – put their stuffed animals on and shake them off
Can use ‘chute for old MacDonald – put stuffed animal on there to sing about


Q: A fire truck pulls up outside and everyone runs to look. What do you do?
Hurry hurry drive the firetruck, ding ding ding ding ding – song


Q: A child says I don’t like that book. What do you do? – turned into heckling share time ☺
I’m sorry, maybe you’ll like the next story!
Change the story! Kid who said “that’s not safe!” about what characters were doing, so librarian instead shared the book and they talked about safe v. unsafe.
When working with kids: tell, don’t ask. If you ask, they think it’s a choice and it may not go your way!


Q: How do you use technology?
If it’s an all ipad storytime, advertise it separately so parents know what they’re getting
Project lyrics to songs for larger groups
Put all your music on itunes, create playlists, but be careful not to get a cheap speaker system or dock because you need it to be loud enough for a room full of kids
What is that animal game? Using an animal sounds app


Q: No one is dancing with you, what do you do?
Make it a “copy me” game or song
Give them props to dance with
Give them a speech: “You are your child’s first role model.  They are learning from you, not from me”


Q: Favorite felt or flannel activity?
A big felt humpty dumpty, after they say the rhyme the kids get a turn pulling him off the board
Brown bear, brown bear flannel – have the kids retell the story
Mouse behind a house flannel, can also do a fox in a box
If kids don’t get a turn with felt, let them be the ones to help clean up the felt story


Q: How do you deal with snacks at storytime?
Other kids with snacks are very distracting – try talking to parents about not bringing them
Allergies are a problem


Q: How to engage reluctant grownups?
Tell kids “Find your grown up! Can your grown up clap? Where’s your grown-up’s nose?”
Say at beginning “Turn off phone.  If you’re engaged, they’ll be engaged.” Then if need be remind parents midway thru.
Hand the grown-up a prop and make them take it and use it.
Ask kids “I hear some voices. Does anyone else hear voices?”: shame grown ups into being quiet.
Use the word “caregiver” or “grown-up” instead of “parents” so that nannies, aunts, etc. don’t feel off the hook


Q: What is your favorite song?
watermelon, papaya, banana, fruit salad – shake and move
tea break: here’s a cup and here’s a cup, and here’s a pot of tea, pour a cup and pour a cup, then have a drink with me
First you spread the peanut butter, then you spread the jam, put a piece bread on top, and eat up all you can, then you take your sticky fingers and you wipe them on your pants, and you do a little wiggle for the peanut butter dance
bananas chant: (a few variations)
bananas unite!, peel banana peel peel banana, slice banana slice slice banana, mash banana mash mash banana, go bananas!
Form banana form form banana, peel banana peel peel banana, go bananas!
Can do other fruits, too!: form apple then eat, form corn then shuck & pop, mash potato, squeeze orange, pick & smash grapes

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